Detroit’s undefeated lightweight Erick DeLeon (20-0-1, 12 KOs) made his return to the ring against Barranquilla, Colombia’s Hevinson Herrera (27-20-1, 21 KOs).
Fighting in the main event of Salita Promotions’ Detroit Brawl event in the Lincoln Ballroom of the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center in Dearborn, MI, DeLeon took about a minute to size up the South American before moving in with a blistering two-fisted assault that left Herrera down for the count at 2:48 of round one.
In front of a huge crowd of his supporters, the popular DeLeon, a three-time National Golden Gloves Champion, showed why he has been labeled a potential star since his amateur days by demolishing the seasoned Herrera, who just last year was able to pull off the upset against then 19-1 Courtney Jackson.
“It felt amazing,” said DeLeon, post-fight. “I’m so happy and blessed. Thank you to all my people who came out. I really appreciate all the love and support. This if for you guys. I wasn’t surprised it ended so quickly. I have been working hard and I was ready for this moment. When I connected with that left hand, I knew it was only going to get worse for him.
In a battle of undefeated 175-lb sluggers, WBC #9, IBF #15, WBO #14 light heavyweight Ali Izmailov (8-0, 6 KOs) showed why he’s a world contender in just seven fights with a brutal hammering of Iquique, Chile’s Abraham Tebes (now 7-1, 3 KOs). The pulverizing fists of Izmailov turned the South American’s face to a swollen mask as the rounds progressed. The wild-swinging Tebes tried hard, but Izmailov is in another league and headed for a world-championship fight in the near future. The official verdict was a TKO 4, as Tebes rightly decided to stay on his stool before the round began. Trainer John David Jackson has Izmailov looking like a potential future star.
Las Vegas via Nahariya, Israel, super flyweight David Alaverdian (6-0, 5 KOs) made his United States fighting debut a successful one over Kecskemet, Hungary’s Jeno Tonte (9-10, 8 KOs). A perfectly timed left hook dropped Tonte in round two and the follow-up barrage ended matters. Alaverdian appears to be the real thing. His matrix-like performance had 18-fight veteran Tonte struggling to land a shot while his own shots elicited “oohs” and “ahhs” from the large crowd. Referee Gerard White called off the slaughter at 1:15.
Undefeated Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Joshua “Double J” Pagan (now 2-0, 2 KO) ended his schedule-for-four lightweight about against winless Calvin Glover (0-5) of Chicago at 1:36 of the first round. A wicked left hook to the body left the hapless Glover gasping for breath as the full count was reached. So strong was the fight-ending shot that Glover was still needing assistance to walk several minutes after the fight.
In an eight-round middleweight showdown, undefeated Timur Kerefov (13-0, 7 KOs) made quick work of once-promising veteran Cleotis “Mookie” Pendarvis (21-10-2, 9 KOs), knocking him out at 2:02 of round two with a thunderbolt left hand. Not regarded as a one-punch fighter, the former amateur star Kerefov uncorked the perfect shot that made Pendarvis take a knee and complain about his eye as referee Frank Garza reached the count of 10.
An eight-round heavyweight showdown to open the show broke out into an old-fashioned slugfest between heavyweight prospect and current WBC USNBC Silver Heavyweight Champion Brandon Moore (11-0, 7 KOs) and clever veteran Curtis Harper (13-7, 9 KOs).
The undefeated Moore suffered a serious cut over his left eye from an accidental headbutt in round two and the blood streaming down his face seemed to energize Harper into becoming more aggressive. What followed was an entertaining back-and-forth battle with Moore landing more often with more accurate shots and Harper landing enough right-hands to keep things very interesting throughout. Harper lost a point for hitting on the break in round four that he protested vehemently.
In the end, the blood-soaked Moore came away with a hard-fought unanimous decision by “wider than the action” scores of 79-72 80-71 and 80-71.